The Maltese government has set migration, the single market, the
security of Europe's borders and maritime policy as priorities
for the Presidency of the Council of the European Union, which
started on 1 January. These are all issues that matter greatly to
local and regional governments, Markku Markkula, President of the
European Committee of the Regions, and Dr. Joseph Muscat, Prime
Minister of Malta, underlined today during a bilateral meeting.
"The CoR welcomes the approach taken for the Maltese
Presidency and is ready to actively contribute by sharing real life
experience, best practices and expectations from Europe's
regions and cities. We must maintain investment and a strong
cohesion policy. A bottom-up Europe, which works together with
local and regional authorities, is the only way to re-build trust
by showing the EU's added value to citizens and business",
the CoR President said.
Prime Minister Joseph Muscat added, "the Maltese Presidency
and the European Committee of the Regions share a vision to put the
concept of social Europe back on the agenda. Our commitment
is to keep an open channel of communication with this important
The CoR President recalled that Europe also needs to bridge the
damaging gap between Brussels and citizens. Through a series of
town hall debates, held by CoR members, citizens are being invited
to share their concerns and views on Europe. Their contributions
will form part of a referral of the CoR entitled Reflecting on
the EU, which will be submitted to the European Council. The
next event will take place in Valletta, on the fringes of the
Informal meeting of EU heads of state or government foreseen for
the 3rd of February 2017.
Source: The European Committee of the Regions
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